Dinner to benefit SPCA

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Valentine’s themed dinner at Merk’s Place will provide couples and families with a sweet dinner for an even sweeter cause.

The fifth annual “Puppy Love Valentine’s Dinner,” set for Wednesday from 4-9 p.m., will donate 10 percent of meal sales to the Southside Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Steve Smelcer with the SPCA said the organization had approached the owner of Merk’s five years ago regarding potential fundraisers.

Smelcer said the owner had suggested an event close to Valentine’s Day. The rest is history.

“It is by far our most successful restaurant fundraiser that we do,” Smelcer said. “There’s something special about it, it really brings people out in droves.”

He said guests can take a free spin on a prize wheel, purchase t-shirts, keychains, Frisbees and raffle tickets for prizes from the SPCA.

Smelcer said guests can even win a homemade quilt made by April Merkle, the owner’s wife.

Dennis Merkle with Merk’s Place said the event has been a rousing success in past years.

“Turnout is awesome,” Merkle said. “Every year we pack it full, and we barely have enough room to fit anybody in here.”

He said the event to look out for will be the raffle of the homemade quilt made by his mother.

“She’s been working on it for a while,” Merkle said, who described the quilt as colorful with paw prints throughout it. “She was going to try to do it at the raffle last year but she didn’t have a chance to finish it … We have it on display here.”

While four-legged friends won’t necessarily make an appearance at this fundraiser, Merkle said the event will go to help the area’s dogs and cats.

“I’m really proud of all of the people who show up to help the SPCA,” Merkle said.